Arsenal loanee Mark McGuinness dropped down to the Ipswich Town u23s to get a game on Tuesday, amid his current absence from the senior side.

Mark McGuinness with Ipswich Town against Blackpool FC (Photo via McGuinness on Twitter)
Mark McGuinness with Ipswich Town against Blackpool FC (Photo via McGuinness on Twitter)

On Tuesday, Luke Penning reported that the Ipswich Town u23s selected Arsenal loanee Mark McGuinness for their game against Charlton Athletic. The match finished 2-1 to Ipswich.

This is McGuinness’ first known appearance in a month, having dropped out of the Ipswich Town squad. There doesn’t appear to be any injury, but the centre-back isn’t being selected for matches.

To give some background on the situation, Ipswich currently have six loanees in their squad: Mark McGuinness, Keanan Bennetts, Troy Parrott, Luke Matheson, Josh Harrop, and Luke Thomas.

Parrott, Matheson, Harrop, and Thomas all joined in January, putting the club over the maximum limit of five loanees per matchday squad. This means one player has to miss out every game – though it doesn’t have to be the same player each time.

Though this has rarely been a problem for Ipswich in actuality, it immediately put McGuinness’ situation in some doubt.

For the first few games of February, McGuinness continued to get starts. Then, on February 20th, he wasn’t involved against Oxford United, and he hasn’t returned to the squad since.

At the time, Ipswich Town reporters wrote that he’d dropped out of the squad, not that he’d picked up an injury. In fact, the defender even travelled with the squad to face Hull City, warming up on the pitch despite not being selected.

After the first game that McGuinness and Luke Woolfenden weren’t involved, centre-back James Wilson said: “I think [having] a lot of games has been really tough for them this season, so I think they’ve done great and I think they’ll be back in before long.”

But neither player has made a first-team appearance since then.

Why has McGuinness dropped out?

There’s a consensus among the Ipswich Town fans that whilst McGuinness has the raw attributes you need as a defender, he’s a bit too error-prone.

He was criticised for over-confidence on the ball and defensive lapses, despite continuing to make regular appearances for much of the season.

In normal circumstances, he probably would have dropped to the bench. But as a loanee, it’s easier for the manager to leave him out completely, which is certainly a shame.

He’s still young, and this is his first season in senior football, so there’s plenty of time to turn things around. It’s just looking unlikely that will happen in Ipswich.